Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 1018 ..
this to be debated today and, for it to be adjourned, I think it is reasonable that we explain to the community why it is being delayed. I think it is reasonable for the Greens to put forward their position or the government to put forward their position as to why they do not want debate on what is very important legislation. It has been on the table since December.
Likewise, I would like to reiterate the points as to why it is important that we bring forward this legislation for debate today. The point is that this is legislation that was tabled in December. This is legislation that is essentially the same as what was brought forward by the Liberal Party in 2005. It is very similar to and, in fact, draws on the Victorian legislation that was put to the Victorian parliament in 2003.
We have had extensive consultation on this legislation. Indeed, in around 2007 or 2008 there was a forum sponsored by the ACT government and conducted by the University of Canberra. The government received many submissions to that from peak bodies such as the NRMA, Drug Law Reform Foundation, Civil Liberties Australia, AFPA and so on. All those submissions are there about random drug testing and whether we should be supporting it or not. Indeed, the government released a discussion paper that went through this issue in some detail. This formed part of the election debate in 2008.
We had ample opportunity for the government to look at this legislation since December last year. Indeed, I wrote to Jon Stanhope asking whether he had any further questions and saying I would support any amendments that I could see would add value to the bill. And I had a meeting with the Greens and said likewise, that I welcomed any debate that they had, any contribution that they had to make this bill better. And the Greens actually asked me—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Excuse me, Mr Hanson, can you debate the merits of the suspension of standing orders rather than—
MR HANSON: Yes, I am. I am getting to that. I am explaining—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Otherwise we are going to have the debate without having—
MR HANSON: Indeed. My point is: this is why we need to suspend, because there are very substantive issues on the table in terms of why this is being adjourned. And the arguments that are going to be put forward need to be heard, and that is my point. I want to hear what the Greens have got to say. The community wants to. The community wants to hear why Labor wants to adjourn this bill and the community want to hear why we want this bill debated today. And that is my point.
In outlining some of my case, I just outline to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, that I do have a substantive case, that there are things to be said and there are points that need to be put on the table so that the community can hear why it is today that this road safety legislation that can save lives, which has been debated in this community for years and which was debated here five years ago, needs further time. I simply do not understand it. I think it is important that the Greens, Labor and the opposition have an opportunity to put their case on the table.